European Stocks Lower; Russia Intensifies Assault in Eastern Ukraine

  • Stock Market News
European Stocks Lower; Russia Intensifies Assault in Eastern Ukraine
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets weakened Tuesday, with investors focusing on developments in Ukraine as Russia intensifies its assault in the east of the country.

By 4:05 AM ET (0805 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.5% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.6% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.1%.

Moscow has refocused its ground offensive in Ukraine's two eastern provinces, known as the Donbas, in what Ukrainian officials described as the second phase of the war.

Donbas has been the focal point of Russia's campaign to destabilize Ukraine, with Moscow declaring the two regions as republics in late February and is home to much of the country's industrial wealth, including coal and steel.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has roiled global markets, forcing many commodity prices higher and prompting fears of stagflation, particularly in Europe, which relies heavily on Russian energy. 

The World Bank lowered on Monday its global growth forecast for 2022 by nearly a full percentage point, to 3.2% from 4.1%, citing the impact of the war.

This has outweighed Friday’s positive news from the People's Bank of China, when the Chinese central bank cut the reserve requirement for all banks by 25 basis points to try and cushion a sharp slowdown in the world's second largest economy. 

In corporate news, Scor (EPA: SCOR ) stock fell 3.9% after the French reinsurer said it expects to book charges for claims related to the Ukraine conflict, while WH Smith (LON: SMWH ) stock fell 0.99% after the retailer suspended orders from its online greetings card and gift business Funky Pigeon following a cyber-security incident last week. 

Stellantis (EPA: STLA ) stock climbed 2.4% despite the world’s fourth-largest car maker saying it was suspending production at its Russian plant.

However, most eyes will be on earnings on Wall Street later in the session, with the likes of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) among the companies reporting Tuesday.

Oil prices weakened Tuesday in volatile trade as traders weighed up more supply disruptions from political demonstrations with potential increase in demand as the city of Shanghai slowly prepares to restart production after a Covid outbreak.

Libya’s Sharara field, which can pump 300,000 barrels a day, has been closed due to a wave of protests, with the OPEC member saying it could not deliver oil from its biggest oil field. 

By 4:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1% lower at $106.53 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.9% to $112.20. Both benchmarks gained more than 1% in the previous session after hitting their highest level since March 28. 

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,981.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0800.


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